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МнениеПубликувано на: Вто Окт 15, 2013 10:16 am
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First Great Western awarded new franchise

03 Oct 2013

On October 3 the Department for Transport announced it had awarded incumbent First Great Western a new 23-month franchise to operate passenger services between London, southwest England and Wales.

The agreement includes the roll out of free wi-fi for passengers, with priority given to long-distance routes, and local funding has been provided for the refurbishment additional sleeping cars to increase seasonal capacity between London and Cornwall. 'I am also determined that we see further improvements during the lifetime of this contract', said Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin. 'More standard class and fewer first class seats on key services and the delivery of more electric trains for the Thames Valley.'

FirstGroup's Great Western franchise had been due to expire in March 2013, but after the collapse of the InterCity West Coast refranchising process in October 2012 the competition for the replacement contract was cancelled pending the subsequent review of franchising policy. As a result, DfT exercised an option to extend FirstGroup's previous franchise by 28 weeks to October 2013.

Operation of Great Western services is being made more complicated by an extensive programme of route modernisation and future electrification, along with the planned delivery of new inter-city trains under the Intercity Express Programme.

The new franchise announced on October 3 was directly awarded and will run until September 20 2015. DfT intends to hold an open competition for a long-term franchise of seven to 10 years in duration which is scheduled to start in July 2016. A further directly-awarded contract would be negotiated with FirstGroup to cover the interim period from September 2015 to July 2016; to comply with EU tendering rules this contract cannot be awarded now.

The contract is the third to be directly awarded by DfT, following negotiations with Virgin Trains at InterCity West Coast and c2c for the Essex Thameside franchise. Negotiations with First Capital Connect are underway.

In September DfT issued invitations to tender for the replacement Essex Thameside and combined Thameslink, Southern & Great Northern franchises.

source: RG

Re: UK

МнениеПубликувано на: Вто Окт 15, 2013 10:18 am
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Siemens unveils proposal for future London Underground train

04 Oct 2013


Siemens has unveiled a full-sized mock-up of the train which it intends to offer when Transport for London calls tenders for new fleets for London Underground's small-profile tube lines.

Part of Siemens' Inspiro family, the articulated design for London would feature wide through gangways, air-conditioning and an option for fully-automated operation.

The trains would use the same traction package as the Inspiro rolling stock being delivered to the Warszawa metro, but would feature a smaller-profile body suitable for London. This would include a distinctively styled cab with a front end not dissimilar to the LU roundel logo. Industrial design for the trains has been undertaken by Atlantic Design, while the mock-up was produced by Curvature Group.

Siemens is working with a specialist partner on a novel concept to provide onboard air-conditioning, a major challenge in London because of the tight tunnel profile and the problem of dispersing heat generated by operations. The proposed system features onboard tanks containing a phase-changing polymer which would be cooled below its freezing point when the train was running on surface sections of the network. On underground sections heat transferred from the air-conditioning system would be used to melt the polymer again.

The train would also be designed to produce less heat than existing stock, being 30% more energy-efficient and 20% lighter than 'similar modern metro trains', and able to use regenerative braking to bring the train almost to a stand.

Low-profile LED lighting would be used throughout, helping to maximise headroom. Other proposals include advertising screens able to show changing images and video, and a smart information system which would provide passengers at stations with real-time information on which parts of the next train were least busy.

Graeme Clark, Siemens' Head of Business Development, Rolling Stock, told Railway Gazette International that it would be up to the customer to decide what level of automation would be required. Siemens would be able to supply trains suitable for manual driving, automated operation with a driver in the cab, automated operation with no cab but with a member of staff onboard, or unattended automatic operation.

The wall separating the cab from the passenger area is designed to be removed if conversion to automatic operation were to be requested after the trains entered service, increasing the space available for passengers. The control equipment would be located under a seat, where it could be accessed by on-train staff if required; a similar procedure has been adopted on the Docklands Light Railway, where onboard staff can drive the trains manually if necessary.

Siemens said it anticipates that invitations to tender for LU's Piccadilly Line fleet replacement will be issued next year, with the Bakerloo Line to follow. Longer-term orders for the Central and Waterloo & City lines could take the total requirement to around 2 500 vehicles. While Siemens will not say where the trains would be assembled, the company anticipates that that the customer would require a high level of domestic content.

source: RG

Re: UK

МнениеПубликувано на: Сря Окт 23, 2013 11:45 am
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Network Rail signs five-year rail supply deals

21 Oct 2013

Infrastructure manager Network Rail has signed rail supply framework contracts with three steel manufacturers. The deals run for five years, with an option for a further five.

The largest part of the framework will see Tata Steel's Scunthorpe plant supply around 140 000 tonnes of rail per year, depending on requirements. This will meet around 95% of Network Rail's needs and account for around 5% of annual steel output from the Scunthorpe site. The products to be supplied will include some of the 'latest, harder-wearing high performance rail', according to the infrastructure manager.

ArcelorMittal and Voestalpine will also supply a variety of rail types.

'We are renewing and enhancing more and more of Britain's railway over the next five years and it's crucial that we have a trusted and secure supply chain to help us achieve that safely and efficiently said Patrick Butcher, Network Rail's Group Finance Director.

source: RG

Re: UK

МнениеПубликувано на: Пет Окт 25, 2013 11:04 am
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South West Trains prepares to introduce longer trains

23 Oct 2013


South West Trains has taken delivery of the first two five-car Class 458/5 electric multiple-units rebuilt from former Gatwick Express Class 460 vehicles. The first 10-car formation is expected to enter service by early December, increasing peak capacity on commuter routes from Reading and Hounslow to London Waterloo station.

SWT's existing 30 four-car Class 458 EMUs are also being extended by one vehicle. All the rebuilt units are expected to be in service by February 2015.

The work is being undertaken at Wabtec's Doncaster and Loughborough plants, with the involvement of original manufacturer Alstom. Changes include a new interior designed to accommodate more standing passengers.

The new front end incorporates Hübner gangways and Voith couplings. The original Class 458 gangways were not approved for public use, and joining and splitting of sets had proved problematic. As part of the business case for 10-car trains presented to the Department for Transport, SWT argued that the operational convenience to be gained by solving these problems would justify the additional cost. 'It's the right thing to do from a holistic railway point of view', said Christian Roth, Engineering Director at the SWT/Network Rail Alliance.

The overall cost of the rolling stock element of the 10-car project is £42m, which is being financed by leasing company Porterbrook. SWT's higher leasing charges will be offset by correspondingly lower premium payments to DfT which was keen to see capacity increased.

source: RG

Re: UK

МнениеПубликувано на: Пет Ное 22, 2013 5:08 pm
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Rail Freight Alliance formed

04 Nov 2013


Five leading rail freight operators announced on October 31 that they had formed a new alliance with infrastructure manager Network Rail, ‘with a view to delivering a sustainable and flourishing rail freight sector’. The five are DB Schenker Rail UK, Freightliner Group, GB Railfreight, Direct Rail Services and Colas Rail.

Reflecting recent moves towards the establishment of alliances between Network Rail’s devolved route management teams and their primary passenger train operators, the Rail Freight Alliance is intended to address a series of strategic objectives agreed by the Rail Delivery Group’s Freight Group. These include:

delivering whole-industry cost savings;
developing 'smarter use' of the network;
a sustainable charging framework for freight trains.

Freightliner Chairman Peter Maybury, who heads the RDG Freight Group, believed that creation of the alliance was ‘an important step-forward’, which would ‘give the rail freight sector a stronger voice in the rail industry and give an opportunity to resolve some significant issues that remain’.

Network Rail Freight Director Paul McMahon suggested that ‘greater collaboration between the operators and Network Rail will enable us all to better address the challenges and the opportunities that the sector faces in the next five years and beyond.’

source: RG

Re: UK

МнениеПубликувано на: Вто Дек 17, 2013 7:46 am
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BBC News: Settle-Carlisle line thriving 30 years on after closure threat


The first few paragraphs:

It was exactly 30 years ago that British Rail first announced plans to close the famous Settle to Carlisle railway, one of the last great main lines of the Victorian era.

But campaigners fought hard to save it and now it is a thriving route, clocking up 1.2 million journeys a year.

Rumours about British Rail's secret plan to shut the Settle-Carlisle line had been circulating for years. Then in December 1983 there it was in cold, hard print. Official closure notices displayed at stations on the line informing passengers that from May 1984 trains would be withdrawn.

Seventy-two miles of what was one of the last great Victorian infrastructure projects faced the imminent prospect of being wiped off Britain's railway map. The track would be lifted, stations boarded up and viaducts and tunnels left to decay.

In the 1960s about 5,000 miles of railway line had met a similar fate following the publication of the now-infamous Beeching Report. Protesters had tried to prevent the axe falling on routes across the country, but with little success.